CNN reported recently that a hindered terror plot in Australia has the TSA reconsidering their own cargo screening measures. The curbed plan involved the shipping of parts of a bomb to Australia, where the bomb was assembled and intended to be planted on a plane for detonation. The plot was unsuccessful, but a red flag for the TSA regarding the need to up their own cargo screening protocols /1/. Air cargo security is an increasingly complicated affair as compliance requirement have been upped in recent years.
Companies struggle to keep up with compliance standards
Air freight cargo is significantly easier to screen compared with the millions of packages transported by express planes. More thorough screening would slow down shipping and require more elaborate technology and more personnel. This is consistent with the trend of companies generally having to invest more in additional personnel for inspection, the massive amounts of paperwork generated from screening, and the reporting of information to regulating authorities.
Stricter standards for compliance are being established constantly, and companies have to keep up. Complex statistical reports must also be compiled and submitted to regulators, which is difficult when various companies are using different IT structures to gather data.
More shipping information for risk analysis
The air freight cargo industry has considered using additional shipping information in risk-analysis in order to determine the necessary level of screening for a specific shipment /2/. This would function like TSA Pre-Check, filtering “low-risk” shipments to less strenuous screening processes.
The implementation of Blockchain technology for the tracking of air freight shipments may significantly increase companies’ capacities for compliance, as well as contribute to the overall security of air cargo shipping.
How Blockchain could save time and money and increase security
If shipment information was being saved in to a Blockchain, a seamless record of a shipment’s whereabouts would be possible, starting with information on the sender and ending with delivery to the receiver. This would eliminate the inconsistency of data being pushed through a number of IT systems, causing more paperwork and complications in reporting to authorities.
The gathering of additional shipping information to filter shipments for screening would be time-consuming and expensive with traditional IT structures, but with all data being recorded in to a Blockchain, authorised officials would be able to call upon this information with ease. Additionally, the decentralised nature of Blockchain makes the manipulation of such information nearly impossible, which is incredibly valuable to those interested in aviation security.
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